Around the Nation (Jan. 19): Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial dies at age 92

Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

BASEBALL

Stan 'The Man' Musial dead at 92

ST. LOUIS -- Stan Musial, the St. Louis Cardinals star with the corkscrew stance and too many batting records to fit on his Hall of Fame plaque, died Saturday. He was 92.

Stan the Man was so revered in St. Louis that he has two statues outside Busch Stadium -- one just wouldn't do him justice. He was one of baseball's greatest hitters, shining in the mold of Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio even without the bright lights of the big city.

Musial won seven National League batting titles, was a three-time MVP and helped the Cardinals capture three World Series championships in the 1940s.

The Cardinals announced Musial's death in a news release. They said he died Saturday evening at his home in Ladue surrounded by family. The team said Musial's son-in-law, Dave Edmonds, informed the club of Musial's death.

"We have lost the most beloved member of the Cardinals family," team chairman William DeWitt Jr. said. "Stan Musial was the greatest player in Cardinals history and one of the best players in the history of baseball."

Musial was the second baseball Hall of Famer who died Saturday. Longtime Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver also passed away, at age 82.

Musial spent his entire 22-year career with the Cardinals and made the All-Star team 24 times -- baseball held two All-Star games each summer for a few seasons.

Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver dead at 82

BALTIMORE -- Earl Weaver, the fiery Hall of Fame manager who won 1,480 games with the Baltimore Orioles, has died, the team says. He was 82.

The Duke of Earl, as he was affectionately known in Baltimore, took the Orioles into the World Series four times over 17 seasons but won only one title, in 1970. His .583 winning percentage ranks fifth among managers who served 10 or more seasons in the 20th century.

"He was an intense competitor and smart as a whip when it comes to figuring out ways to beat you," said Davey Johnson, who played under Weaver in the minor leagues and with the Orioles from 1965 to 1972.

Weaver was a salty-tongued manager who preferred to wait for a three-run homer rather than manufacture a run with a stolen base or a bunt. While some baseball purists argued that strategy, no one could dispute the results.

Weaver had a reputation as a winner, but umpires knew him as a hothead. Weaver would often turn his hat backward and yell directly into an umpire's face to argue a call or a rule, and after the inevitable ejection he would more often than not kick dirt on home plate or on the umpire's shoes.

He was ejected 91 times, including once in both games of a doubleheader.

Asked once if his reputation might have harmed his chances to gain entry into the Hall of Fame, Weaver admitted, "It probably hurt me."

Those 91 ejections were overshadowed by his five 100-win seasons, six AL East titles and four pennants. Weaver was inducted into the Hall in 1996, 10 years after he managed his final game with Baltimore at the end of an ill-advised comeback.

FOOTBALL

49ers WR Crabtree met with investigators

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree has voluntarily met with police in their investigation into an alleged sexual assault in a hotel after the team's playoff victory over the Green Bay Packers last weekend, his attorney said Saturday.

"Michael fully cooperated with the inspectors and will continue to do so throughout this investigation," the attorney, Joshua Bentley, said in a brief statement emailed to The Associated Press.

Bentley provided no additional details and had no further comment.

The statement comes after police said they were investigating a sexual assault allegation involving Crabtree in a San Francisco hotel early Sunday. Crabtree hasn't been detained or arrested, and has agreed to be available for more questions in the future, police said.

The probe is being handled by the department's special victims unit. When the investigation is done, the findings will be forwarded to the district attorney's office, which decides if charges should be filed, police said.

Authorities didn't release any further details.

49ers General Manager Trent Baalke said the team is aware of the allegations.

"The 49ers take such matters very seriously," he said in a statement. "We will have no further comment at this time as the legal process is ongoing."

San Francisco is preparing to play the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship game on Sunday. The winner goes to the Super Bowl.

The 49ers said Crabtree made the trip to Atlanta. The team referred all other questions about the matter to Crabtree's attorney.

This season, Crabtree became the first San Francisco wide receiver to log more than 1,000 yards in a season since Terrell Owens in 2003. He had a career-best 1,105 yards receiving, including a single-game high 172 yards on eight receptions in a win over Arizona.

House Te'o sent flowers to linked to hoaxers

CARSON, Calif. -- When Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o ordered two dozen white roses delivered to 21503 Water St. in Carson, Calif., he says he thought they were headed to the home of his dead girlfriend, Lennay Kekua.

In fact, public records and interviews with neighbors indicate the man implicated as the ringleader of a false-identity hoax once lived there, as have many of his relatives.

Neighbors told The Associated Press on Saturday that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo used to live at 21503 Water St. and has visited it since moving out about a year ago.

Te'o said Friday in an ESPN interview he had been contacted by the 22-year-old Tuiasosopo, and that the man admitted to masterminding a scam in which Te'o became attached to a woman online who was actually nonexistent.

Tuiasosopo has not commented publicly since the hoax was revealed Wednesday by Deadspin.com.

HOCKEY

Penguins top Flyers as NHL season begins

PHILADELPHIA -- Tyler Kennedy and James Neal both scored goals to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins past the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 on Saturday.

Claude Giroux scored for the Flyers in the first game for both teams since the end of the 113-day NHL lockout.

Chris Kunitz added an empty-netter in the final seconds for the Penguins.

About 20,000 fans filled the Wells Fargo Center and they were welcomed back and thanked by the team in videotaped messages throughout the game.

The rivalry started early in this abbreviated season. The Flyers eliminated the Penguins in six games last season in an Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. Counting the 2012 regular-season finale, the Penguins have played the Flyers eight straight games.

Bruins top Rangers 3-1 to begin shortened year

Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots for Boston in his first game after taking over for two-time Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas, and the Bruins beat the New York Rangers 3-1 in the lockout-delayed season opener on Saturday night.

Milan Lucic and Daniel Paille scored for Boston, which won the Northeast Division last year before losing in the first round of the playoffs. Rask backed up Thomas during the Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup run and inherited the job when the enigmatic goalie decided to take a year off to rest.

Brad Richards scored for the Rangers on an assist from Rick Nash, the former Columbus star who was New York's biggest acquisition over the summer. Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves for the Rangers, who finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference last season but lost in the conference finals to the New Jersey Devils.

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